Jenn Ashworth

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Jenn Ashworth
Photograph of Jenn Ashworth
Jenn Ashworth at a creative writing workshop in Ashton under Lyne, May 2010.
Born 1982
Preston, Lancashire, England
Occupation Short story writer, novelist
Language English
Nationality British
Alma mater Cambridge University, Manchester Centre for New Writing
Notable works A Kind of Intimacy, Cold Light, The Friday Gospels

Jenn Ashworth is an English writer. She was born in 1982 in Preston, Lancashire.[1] She has graduated from Cambridge University and the Manchester Centre for New Writing. She previously worked as a librarian in a men's prison.[2]

She founded the Preston Writers Network, later renamed as the Central Lancs Writing Hub,[3] and worked as its coordinator until it closed in January 2010. She has also taught creative writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester and at the University of Central Lancashire.

She currently runs a literature consultancy called The Writing Smithy with the poet Sarah Hymas and works as an editor and mentor there.[4][5] She is also a lecturer in Creative Writing at the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster.

In March 2011 she was featured as one of the BBC Culture Show's Best 12 New Novelists.[6]

She has written short stories, and her first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, was published in February 2009.[7] It is the story of a lonely woman failing to come to grips with reality, unable to relate to others, and full of self-deception.[8] It contains strong elements of both comedy and tragedy, and eventually violence.[9] This novel won a Betty Trask Award in 2010.

Two earlier novels are both unpublished. One of them was lost as a result of a computer theft in 2004.[10] However, an extract from this lost novel was the winner of the 2003 Quiller-Couch Prize for Creative Writing at Cambridge University.[7]

Ashworth's 2011 novel, Cold Light aims, according to her own account, to be "dark and funny and odd".[10] This novel tells the story of three teenage girls, one of whom dies with her boyfriend in suspicious circumstances. The novel is set on the tenth anniversary of the death, when a memorial summerhouse is built and another body is found. A third novel The Friday Gospels, published in January 2013, imagines a Lancastrian family, welcoming their son home from a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[11] Jenn Ashworth was herself brought up as member of the LDS Church, but left the church in her teens.[12]


  1. ^ "Issue 3 contributors : Jenn Ashworth". The Manchester Review. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  2. ^ "The View From Here Interview: Jenn Ashworth". The View From Here. 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Ashworth, Jenn (2010-01-05). "Central Lancs Writing Hub: Free Creative Writing Workshop". Central Lancs Writing Hub. Retrieved 2010-05-08. We used to be Preston Writing Network. Now we're the Central Lancs Writing Hub. Soon we're moving to be part of the County-wide Lancashire Writing Hub project. We're still run by They Eat Culture and coordinated by Jenn Ashworth. 
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  7. ^ a b Ashworth, Jenn. "Jenn Ashworth". Waterstones. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  8. ^ Sethi, Anita (2009-05-07). "A Kind of Intimacy, By Jenn Ashworth". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  9. ^ Davies, Stevie (2009-03-28). "Review: A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  10. ^ a b "Jenn Ashworth Interview". Write Words. 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  11. ^ Ashworth, Jenn. "The Friday Gospels". Sceptre. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Davies, Stevie (2013-01-18). "The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth – review". The Guardian (London). 

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